Ukraine Claims They Knocked Out a Hypersonic Missile


The Ukrainian Air Force claimed it shot down a Russian Kinzhal Hypersonic missile using a US-made Patriot Air Defense missile system.

“Yes, we shot down an ‘unparalleled’ Kinzhal missile!” Oleshchuk wrote. “It happened during the May 4 night attack in the sky over Kyiv region. The Kh-47 missile launched from MiG-31K in the territory of Russia.”

All of the Russian weapons “were destroyed in Kyiv airspace by our air defense forces,” Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv city military administration, wrote on Telegram, according to Insider.

The ‘Kh-47 Kinzhal’, also known as ‘Dagger’ in the Russian language, is a hypersonic missile that can travel at speeds of more than 10 Mach. It has a range of about 1250 miles. Kinzhal’s high speed makes it very difficult to intercept by air defense systems.

Ukrainian Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk announced the operation on Telegram on Saturday.

“I congratulate the Ukrainian people on the historic event. Yes, we shot down the ‘unique’ Kinzhal,” Oleshchuk wrote.

Kinzhal Mach 10 via Russian Media


The unconfirmed claim would mark the first known case of Ukraine successfully intercepting Moscow’s most modern missiles. Russia previously boasted about the missile’s speed and capability, DW reports.

Patriot missiles, guided missiles sent in October, can target aircraft, cruise missiles, and shorter-range ballistic missiles such as those Russia has used to bombard residential areas during the conflict, which is now in its 15th month.

The Patriot missiles range in speed from MACH 2.8 to MACH 4.1.

However, the hypersonic missile follows a predictable path.

Pictures shared by the Ukrainian website Defense Express show debris of a warhead that could match either the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal or the 9K720 Iskander-M ground-launched missile.

So far, Ukraine’s military or authorities have issued no official confirmation of a Kinzhal interception. The Ukrainian Air Force said it would not comment on the reports. However, it invited interested parties to refer to the original article “for additional up-to-date, operational and reliable information that the enemy will use in the war against Ukraine.”

If the interception proves true, some suspect the recent delivery of new air defense systems might have played a part.

Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the delivery of Patriot systems to Ukraine, saying they will only serve to prolong the conflict, adding: “We will always be able to find an antidote.”

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